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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Jun 16, 2008 11:33am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: what the hell is Terrapin about?

Any thoughts? I have an inkleing what it means to me but I went to the annotated lyric site and that confused me even more.

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Jun 16, 2008 11:51am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: what the hell is Terrapin about?

chicken or the egg?

http://www.dnr.state.md.us/fisheries/recreational/terptimesh.htm

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Poster: mcgannahan Date: Jun 16, 2008 1:58pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: what the hell is Terrapin about?

it's about this railroad that's owned by a bunch of turtles

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Poster: jglynn1.2 Date: Jun 17, 2008 7:38am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: what the hell is Terrapin about?

Exactly - it's about Turtles

;)

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Poster: veblen Date: Jun 17, 2008 8:12am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: what the hell is Terrapin about?

I see "turtles" this AM and gary grant's ad-lib from his girl friday, which I recently re-watched:

When Earl Williams (the Mock Turtle in Alice In Wonderland in 1933) tries to get out a roll-top desk, Grant says: "Get back in there, you Mock Turtle".

http://www.archive.org/details/his_girl_friday

Anyway, in honor of the turtles, I am beginning the day with the first Terrapin show (estimated prophet as well):

http://www.archive.org/details/gd77-02-26.sbd.alphadog.9752.sbeok.shnf

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Poster: spacedface Date: Jun 16, 2008 4:34pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: what the hell is Terrapin about?

It seems like Terrapin is about the moment of truth -- so it can be about many things, like death, realizing if love is real or foolish, the search for the secret in sound, the Apocalypse, etc.

I know I paid the teller off in gold gladly for a shot at redemption (if the extra member showed), even if at some shows I felt like a fan in a lion's den who was not sure who I loved...if had been playing dodgey games and bringing relationships to an end -- or finding inspiration and just being grateful to be alive.

Some might have reached too far in experimentation and ended up freaked out and naked, or possessed by the Year of the Tiger, or maybe just freaked but overjoyed after a show. Even if you were shown the light, it's hard to tell since it seldom turns out the way it does in the song. Which is funny because in the end there's still that song and it seems like all this life was just a dream.

Just kidding! The Department needs to know that desire and fear are in firm control on planet spacedface.

This post was modified by spacedface on 2008-06-16 23:34:27

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Poster: jemajn2323 Date: Jun 17, 2008 6:47am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: what the hell is Terrapin about?

I must be a simpleton, I thought it was a reference to the native american "terrapin"- mother earth, and the realization of total awareness.????

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Poster: jglynn1.2 Date: Jun 17, 2008 7:46am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: what the hell is Terrapin about?

Where is Ashesrising when we need him?

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Poster: He Live's Date: Jun 16, 2008 10:16pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: DONALD FAGEN V. Robert Hunter......

hello jots.... i always have felt that TERRAPIN STATION was EPIC.... perhaps the Dead's MOST EPIC tune..... i "sort of" love the whole thing.... but especially the last cycle.... it is so hard to wrap your head around, not your typical 4 bar vamp... i wouldn't mind it at all if they just played the closing riff for 15 minutes.... (sadly terrapin rarely stretched out past 11).....terrapin has always seemed to me more Grand in Scope, like i said, EPIC.... COMPOSITIONALLY, i think it is the groups most advanced effort, edging out LET IT GROW (WRS) by a hair..... (don't anyone go bringing up Victim or the Crime era dead, please.)


there is a lot of myth surrounding THE GENESISof the song..... but the idea that sticks with me is of Garcia supposedly sitting down in front of the lyrics and picking out phrases that he liked and worked with his PREDESTINED music.... there was no preconceived idea of "i want to do a song about this, but couched in a lot of metaphor"....... these lyrics are equally about vowel placement and amount of syllables to the line as they are any narrative story that is being imparted subsequent to the general ARC, or FLOW of the underlying musical/emotional idea being put across.

it just isn't that satisfying dissecting these lyrics, not like say, "KID CHARLEMAGNE"..... or "DEACON BLUES"? or "ANY MAJOR DUDE"..... did i mention "ONLY A FOOL WOULD SAY THAT".... wait a minute! where am i?

("my back to the wall, a victim of laughing chance....")



maybe people have some insights on "sugar magnolia"..... (just kidding.....)

i think phil blows some speakers on that version i linked up there.... yikes!




This post was modified by He Live's on 2008-06-17 05:16:25

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Poster: L.A. Women Date: Jun 16, 2008 10:12pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: what the hell is Terrapin about?

I agree the song itself is an epic sort of number, however i rarely think they brought the intensity required to make it work to its fullest. Most of what I hear from the 80's on especially just doesn't do it for me as it seems to drag along.

Outside of the repetitive riff at the end that can at times transform into some sort of nice outro jam, there isn't really a whole lot for Jerry to do until then. I could be wrong but is there any sort of solo up until that point? I don't think there is. Off the top of my head I can think of another song like that, Rueben and Cherise and it works because of a quicker tempo.

Anyways the first live performance of it was the best one, so that pretty much says it all right there.

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Poster: veblen Date: Jun 16, 2008 10:22pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: DONALD FAGEN V. Robert Hunter......

well you got me listing to pretzel logic...thanks...

I was looking at the link on deacon blues and noticed a reference to Marian McPartland's piano jazz show when Becker and Fagen were guests. It is truely a wonderful listen, not just for the tunes but for the engaging conversation between becker, fagen and mcpartland.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marian_McPartland%27s_Piano_Jazz_with_guests_Steely_Dan

btw: McPartland's jazz story is pretty interesting in her own right. She is even pictured in the photo a great day in harlem...standing beside Mary Lou Williams and Thelonious Monk.

Great Day in Harlem: http://harlem.org/
(not just a wonderful jazz site but overall one of the best site designs I have seen.)

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Poster: Yankee9 Date: Jun 16, 2008 10:53pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: DONALD FAGEN V. Robert Hunter......

Donald Fagen is a fucking genius. End of story

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Poster: veblen Date: Jun 16, 2008 11:01pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: DONALD FAGEN V. Robert Hunter......

well I was going to pass on seeing them play in berzerkeley in late July, but I see they are also playing the Mountain Winery in Saratoga on the 28th and I might just have to go to that one.

With a cough
I shake it off
And work around my yellow stripe
Should I hide
And eat my pride
Or wait until it's good and ripe
My life is boiling over
It's happened once before
I wish someone would open up the door

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Poster: Yankee9 Date: Jun 16, 2008 11:08pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: DONALD FAGEN V. Robert Hunter......

Fagen and Becker are just the best musical partnership on the planet. Fagen arranges and composes, Becker mixes, perfects, and plays a pretty mean guitar.

And.....they're both really weird

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Poster: He Live's Date: Jun 16, 2008 11:16pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: DONALD FAGEN V. Robert Hunter......

ah yes.... that is JERRY's Word : WEIRD..... (bringing the whole thing full circle -- weird....(.......)

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Poster: veblen Date: Jun 16, 2008 11:28pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: DONALD FAGEN V. Robert Hunter......

"Owsley and another person were arrested after their car ran out of gas."

wow, after thirty years a little light bulb comes on...

so I was wondering what ever happened to denny dias: "Dias is now a computer programmer living in Los Angeles. Along with Rich McConnell and Basil Hosmer he has been an architect of Nantucket's Clipper 5.x xBase compiler."

I recall a time when that info would require a day in the library...

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Poster: He Live's Date: Jun 16, 2008 11:40pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: DONALD FAGEN V. Robert Hunter......

talk about songwriting, talk about making the sausage.... check this

"everyone stopped to stare at your technicolor motor home...."

"i think the people down the hall know who you are, careful what you carry...."

some great lines in that one to be sure.....



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Poster: Yankee9 Date: Jun 16, 2008 11:50pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: DONALD FAGEN V. Robert Hunter......

epic song.....Kid Charlamagne.....epic album.....Royal Scam.....epic guitar solo.....Larry Carlton

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Poster: He Live's Date: Jun 17, 2008 12:01am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: DONALD FAGEN V. Robert Hunter......

and i never fully got the "look at all the white men on the street, you're obsolete, get along kid charlemagne"....... like everyone is doing coke now, your star has risen and fallen....

this seems to be one of Fagen's favorite themes, the wannabes and has-beens, the hustlers and con-men -- these are the characters that inhabit the steely dan world.... not that far off from the dead, but taken to, a whole..... notha..... level.....

(i gotta go to bed.... or i'll be opening another bottle of wine and up all night with this shit..... CHEERS to Veblen and Yankee9..... see you dayglo freaks around....)




This post was modified by He Live's on 2008-06-17 07:01:02

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Poster: He Live's Date: Jun 16, 2008 10:42pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: DONALD FAGEN V. Robert Hunter......

hey veblen... i messed that link.... looks interesting, thanks.

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Poster: tigerbolt Date: Jun 16, 2008 7:43pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: what the hell is Terrapin about?

the lady with the fan section to me is about two
men seeking the admiration of a woman.one with a
feet first attitude while the other from a strategic
stance.the sailor lost with his way of thinking but
so does the soldier for not taking a chance.the storyteller
passes no judgement on either but sheds the light on
the story with cryptic messages, in actually the sailor
really won for at least he took a "CHANCE AT LOVE"
the storyteller leaves you wanting more but is a
person who is content and does not have a price.
the terrapin station part is a metaphor for Utopia
which the traveler seeks by the way of the open rails,
probably a homage by hunter to the old rail riders of
days gone by.they where always on the move seeking
the promise land.old rail riders camped under night
skies in the woods by the rails dreaming.anyway that's
my take of the song.a chance on love and the journey
to find that special place one seeks in life.cheers.

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Poster: august_wst Date: Jun 16, 2008 11:48am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: what the hell is Terrapin about?

it's about... 15 minutes (give or take)

seriously though, what are any of Hunter's songs about. While they have a loose basis in gambling, mythology, biblical verse, etc. they all tend to be pretty open to interpretation if you ask me.

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Jun 16, 2008 12:04pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: what the hell is Terrapin about?

Funny. That 15 minutes was allways about 10 too long imo anyway. Never been one of my tops favs but occasionally dig it.

SOME of them are open to interpretation. This is one, so what is your interpretation?

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Poster: august_wst Date: Jun 16, 2008 12:30pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: what the hell is Terrapin about?

before I tell you what I think... have you ever listened to Hunter's full version of lyrics off of Jack O' Roses (with the Ivory Wheels/Rosewood Track section and all?

I think it might answer you questions for you

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Poster: Lou Davenport Date: Jun 16, 2008 12:46pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: what the hell is Terrapin about?

In case you haven't heard the Jack O' Roses version (which is excellent), you can download an LP transcription of the whole album here:

http://www.avantgardeproject.org/jack_o_roses.zip

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